Warburtons fined £2m over worker’s mixing machine fall
Tuesday 24th January 2017
Andrew Sears was cleaning a mixing machine on 11 November 2013 when he lost his footing. He sustained a spinal compression fracture and was unable to return to work until the end of the following year. He was dismissed in December 2015 after another long period of sick leave.
Wolverhampton Crown Court was told that Sears carried out this job as often as every few weeks. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that Warburtons routinely expected employees to clean the mixers by accessing the top of them, though the workers felt unsafe doing so.
It found there was no adequate supervision on site and the family-owned business had failed to train its staff how to clean equipment at height.
Warburtons pleaded guilty to breaching reg 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations. It was fined and ordered to pay costs of over £19,600.
After the hearing HSE inspector Mahesh Mahey said: "This case highlights how important it is for companies to fully assess the risks from work activities at height and to take appropriate action to prevent injury in the workplace. Mr Sears' life has been changed forever but his injuries could have been more severe."